Bank ploughs cash into Tajik waste project

A development bank has loaned millions of dollars into improving the waste infrastructure - and environment - in the capital of Tajikistan.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has put up a loan of $4m to help fund a waste collection and disposal project in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, with the Dutch government putting a further $4m into the pot in the form of a capital grant.

Dushanbe is a city of 650,000 with creaking waste infrastructure – most of its rubbish is still sent to a landfill which has been operating since 1977.

The funding will go towards new refuse collection vehicles and reducing the environmental impact of the ageing landfill site.

This will include an overhaul of the existing site, with plans to treat the leachate which seeps out of the site and a weighbridge to allow operators to keep track of who is bringing in the waste, and how much they are disposing of.

New sanitary cells will also be added to the landfill for hazardous waste disposal and roads will be improved to allow the new trucks and cleaning vehicles to operate more effectively.

Support will be provided to the local government to help it consolidate existing piecemeal waste collection into a single, more efficient municipally-run company.

The local authority will also receive help in drawing up a business plan in an effort to attract private sector investment into its waste management services.

Technical advice will be provided by Swedish experts and the EBRD’s Early Transition Countries Multi Donor Fund.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD director for municipal & environmental infrastructure, said the bank’s involvement has been critical to foster implementation of a project which will be important and beneficial for Dushanbe and its population.

To-date, the EBRD has invested more than $100 million in more than 35 projects in Tajikistan.

David Gibbs

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